By Julia Edwards and Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department laid out new clemency guidelines on Wednesday that are expected to make thousands of drug offenders eligible for a reduction in the sentences they are currently serving. Under the new guidelines, inmates that were sentenced under laws that have since changed, have served at least 10 years of their sentence and are nonviolent may be re-examined by the Justice Department and suggested to the president for clemency. Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who announced the details of the plan, said the most obvious candidates for review were those sentenced before a 2010 law that lowered the terms for crack cocaine possession charges. "These older, stringent punishments that are out of line with sentences imposed under today's laws erode people's confidence in our criminal justice system," Cole said at a news conference on Wednesday.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a man convicted of possessing child pornography is only required to pay a proportion of the total damages that victims can seek in restitution. The decision ended confusion within the federal judiciary about how to assess the amount convicts could be ordered to pay under a restitution law enacted in 1994 as part of the Violence Against Women Act over digital photographs distributed on the Internet and viewed by thousands of people. Three justices said the law did not allow for any restitution in the case by the victim, named only as Amy, from a Brownsboro, Texas man, Doyle Paroline, who was convicted of possessing child pornography that included two photographs of her. Amy was sexually abused by an uncle starting in 1997 when she was 8 years old.
Former U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who is serving 35 years in prison for turning over classified files to WikiLeaks, can exchange the name Bradley for Chelsea to reflect her desire to be treated as a woman, a judge in Kansas ruled on Wednesday. Manning's name is legally changed to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, according to the decision handed down by Leavenworth County District Judge David King. Manning will be issued a new birth certificate to reflect the name change.
SAO PAULO (AP) ? Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday ratified a bill guaranteeing Internet privacy and enshrining access to the Web during a major conference in Sao Paulo on the future of Internet governance.